This morning I was meditating on one of my all-time favorite verses:
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV
The words “drawn you” at the end of the verse popped off the page at me! Drawn me? Where is God drawing me? To what? I started digging. I found that it means to drag or seize. Now that is pretty strong language! But here is what the Lord really highlighted--it means to “draw and lift out”.
Before my inquiring mind could go into full blown questioning mode, I sensed this -- ”I want to DRAW YOU and LIFT YOU out of anything that is causing you to feel badly about yourself. Anything that causes you to view yourself as less than I view you.”
Oh my, I was NOT expecting that answer! He then led me to search out the meaning of lovingkindness...I know we think we know what that means...but there is always more when God is involved in something.
Lovingkindness literally means goodness and kindness--it’s not just kindness, it’s kindness with goodness attached. Kindness is a gesture. Add goodness and you’ve got a motive. It’s being kind because you are good, and can’t help but do good. Oh my! That sure describes God, doesn’t it?
BUT, it gets better. In this instance it also means faithful. Not only does God want to be kind to us (it’s Who He is), and His motive is good (doesn’t even need us to reciprocate, although it would be nice), but He does it faithfully--like, all the time, every minute.
Think about that today. God is drawing you out of any mess: bad-self esteem, shame, guilt, sin, mistakes...you get it...and He is doing it with a kind hand extended, because He has good motives toward you. AND He does it faithfully--all the time, no matter what, no limit, He is always stretching His big, giant, loving hand out to you.
Lastly, my eyes fell on the first part of the next verse: “Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt.” To rebuild is to restore. Not only does God’s kindness draw you and lift you from whatever causes you not to see your true value, He does it with a good motive--no strings attached--He does it all the time and he wants to restore you in the process. Give you back whatever you’ve lost or let go of.
See His hand today--it’s big, it’s powerful, it’s loving--and it is stretched out in your direction. Take hold.